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Chevy Suburban Maintenance and Repair



  • jonny77jonny77 Posts: 6
    hey there. i too had the SAME problem. my 1996 kept postinga P1345 code. If this code comes up when scanned, it means the distributor was either reinstalled incorrectly, or that you need to use a scan tool that read diagnostic trouble codes, and can view live datastream to determine the Camshaft retard. A good friend of mine who is a 30 veterean GM mechanic fixed mine by loosening the distributor cap several times, adjusting each time. The camshaft retard MUST be no furthur away from 0 degress top dead center, to +2 or -2, or this bucking and hesitation WILL occur, and set off your Malfunction Indicator Lamp (mine wasnt coming up because the bulb that illuminates the MIL in the gauge area was burned out. If you have a trusted friend, or a reliable mom-and-pop type garage to go to, get them to use a scan tool with datastream capabilities to read the codes, and to use datastream to see were the camshaft retard is set. IF this is not the case, then the timing chain is worn or stretched, needing replaced. Mine was as simple as adjusting the Distrubutor cap enough to bring it into spec. My GM mechanic told me that 95% of the time, this is the problem. It will act like a fuel problem, and you will smell raw gas that isnt being burnt. But check this. It also may be the gear on the Distributor is worn from a burr on the camshaft, which is also common. But from what you have described, it looks as if your ignition timin/camshaft retard are not in spec. Give it a try. Hope this helps.
  • jonny77jonny77 Posts: 6
    you should also do a coolant compression check to see if the intake is leaking. but I will about guarantee you its the camshaft retard out of spec, or improperly installed distributor. Like i said, have it checked for any diagnostic trouble codes. The P1345 code can also set off misfire codes, catalyst codes, etc. because the fuel isnt being burnt because of the crossfiring due to out of spec Cam retard. This is a common code for GM's with an incorrectly installed distributor. Take it to a reputable trusted shop, and have them scan it, and tell you what codes are coming up. Again, if that P1345 code is present, it is likely causing other fuel/exaust system codes. I just finally got rid of my bucking and missing. All this time it was
    out of spec. My cam retard was -16, meaning it was -14/-16 out of spec. Got it down to -1, and it runs like never before, not setting codes anymore either. Hope this helps.
  • rayce_hdlrayce_hdl Posts: 1
    I have a 2003 Chevy suburban I bought used about a year ago. I love it, but little things have gone wrong here and there, nothing major. However, recently some of the electrical components have started doing haywire. First, the dome light will not shut off if you have in on the automatic setting (to come on when doors open and shut off when they close). You have to turn them off and on manually, which is a pain. Then, the other day I was driving and it was about 85 degrees out and my [non-permissible content removed] was on fire and I'm like what the hell? I look over and the seat warmers were on full blast. I turned them off thinking I had hit them with my elbow or something. About ten minutes later the same thing happened and I know I didn't touch it. As I was looking at it to figure out what was going on the buttons started lighting up over and over for each level like a carnival game. I wasn't touching anything! I tried pushing the buttons and shutting it off, but it would only work for a minute or so and it would start all over like a ghost was messing with me. After I shut it off and waited awhile it hasn't done it since. Could this all mean something is wrong with the wiring or could it just be a fuse? My cigarette lighter also stopped working one day while I was driving and then a few days later when I went to try it again it worked fine. Please help!
  • kiawahkiawah Posts: 3,666
    Start with making sure your battery, alternator, are up to snuff....and the main wiring is making a tight connection with no corrosion on the terminals.

    Battery and alternator can be check for free at auto parts superstores, look for one that does load testing.
  • jonny77jonny77 Posts: 6
    start by unhooking both battery terminals for a few hours, then check if problem still persists. check all wiring. check all fuses. check for any open wires. check all bulbs, interior map light bulbs, door bulbs, all interior bulbs. check circuit breaker fuse. check auxilary battery/wiring relay. check intrument panel dimmer switch. check accessory power relay. check all grounds/straps. make sure all these things are in order, all relays plugged in tight, all fuses same. sounds mostly like your accessory power relay or auxilary battery/wiring relay. its unusual that wiring goes bad in suburbans from my years of experience, so check all relays, realy block, fuse block, and and the mentioned relays and all grounds and ground straps, to make sure everything is tight. if you kick around the floorboard alot, you may have barely jerked a wire loose somewhere under the dash, check everything relaly well, its usually something very simple in cases like this....let me know at if any of this fixes your problem, if not, then i will get with fellow GM mechanic and ask his advice.....
  • jonny77jonny77 Posts: 6
    do all of this of course if battery wiring is good and grounded, and if alternator wiring is good an grounded, as kaiwah mentioned.
  • spence57spence57 Posts: 26
    I had some odd problems with my 2003 Suburban. It turned to be that my inner fender was gone and that let roadsroay get into the comuter area and mess up contacts
  • trishtytrishty Posts: 1
    Could you tell me where you found the 50 amp fuse...? I know where two of the 3 fuse boxes owner's manual says that there are 3 fuse boxes and sadly, I can only find the two that do not have the seat or right window fuse in them......HELP!!!! Thanks!!
  • Not sure if your still having the problem, but if the wheel and tire are not the cause it could possibly be a warped rotor.
  • Perhaps it's a driveshaft or wheelshaft problem or a Universal Joint going bad. Someone ought to jack up the car and run the drive system with and without the wheels to verify whether they add to or cause the problem. As per the other reply make sure the wheels have been switched. It's also possible that more than one wheel causes vibrations.
  • As for the speedometer and tachometer not working I would say it is probably your whole cluster. I had the same problem but it was only my speedo that didnt work. Replaced that and it worked again. As far as the codes being pulled up I wouldnt have any idea.
  • I bought a new 2007 Chevy Suburban that now has 27,000 miles and the left front wheel bearing is so bad it looks like the wheel is ready to fall off. I had to replace the front brake pads and rotors at 17,000 miles. Warranty wouldn't cover. Dealer said that was normal. I pull a 3000 lb. gross weight trailer once or twice a year for firewood maybe 10 miles max. My brother-in-law has a 2008 Chevy Avalanche with 62,000 miles and he's on his 5th set of brakes and has never towed. I had a 2005 Suburban that got 18 MPG on a trip, the 2007 with 4-cyl. mode only gets 14 MPG on the same trip (what gives?). I keep my Suburban and two other cars in my 3-car garage, never outside. The Suburban is rather rusty underneath, though I asked for undercoating when I bought it new, I was told that it's not necessary due to advanced corrosion resistant materials. The Suburban has never been to the beach or shore. My other vehicles do not show any rust and they've been around much longer. One is a Toyota that has 140,000 miles on it and all I ever did to it was tires, brake pads @ 35,000 mile intervals, oil changes and one set of wiper blades. Is GM putting out some real crap or what? I've been buying GM cars all my long life (I'm 63) but I don't believe I would ever buy another GM product. Does anyone else out there have these sorts of problems with their Suburban/Avalanche?
  • kiawahkiawah Posts: 3,666
    If the rotor and pads were normal braking, and NOT associated with the bearing, then that would be normal wear and tear as all mfg's view it. I haven't wore thru pads yet, but most of my driving is highway driving.

    As an owner of a 2007 Sub as well, your bearing statement concerns me, as well as it should you. If the bearing fails, you'll have a catastrophic failure with the possibility if driving causing a major accident. I would expect that you'd also have horrendous tire wear.

    As far as I'm concerned, if you have a wheel bearing problem, that should be covered under warranty, that's not a wear and tear item. Your highway mileage could be greatly effected by a wheel bearing/alignment issue. I get around 19 on the highway, much better than my 97 Sub, or even my smaller Ford SUV.
  • 04burb04burb Posts: 1
    We have a 2004 Suburban that we use to tow a 30' travel trailer. A few months ago the brake control for the travel trailer stopped working. We replaced it with a new one, and then took the Suburban with trailer on a 1,000+ road trip. During the trip we discovered that the trailer cord that plugs into the back of the car had been dragging the ground, exposing the wires inside. We taped up the cord. A few weeks later the "service ride control" warning came on. A few weeks after that the "service stability" warning came on, and the ABS and stability lights illuminated. We took the car to a local shop that diagnosed it with a bad ABS control module. They said they could not diagnose the other problems until the module is replaced. This weekend we took the trailer out. When we plugged in the trailer cord to the car, the brake control installed on the dash began to smoke.

    My question is are all of these problems related, or am I dealing with multiple, individual issues? Could the exposed trailer wires done something to the electrical system? Is it prudent to have the ABS module replaced and then go from there?
  • kiawahkiawah Posts: 3,666
    You should have had the dragging cable professionally repaired. They would have to carefully solder a repair and re-insulate each wire so that it is electrically insulated, and then once each of the wires was done, re-wrap the bundle. I suspect that a couple of those wires are shorting.

    Depending how the short is actually being made, it could be providing voltage where there shouldn't be on a wire, or drawing too much current.

    You need to treat these as individual issues, to fix each one. The trailer plug/cord can be rewired and then checked out to ensure no shorts, and all circuits working correctly for an external power source.

    Disconnect the trailer brake unit so you are back to the OEM ABS unit only, and get that fixed. Now your tow vehicle is back to original specs.

    Because your trailer brake unit was smoking, I would assume it's blown, and personally would just go get another new one. Add that into the vehicle, and then connect the trailer back together.
  • My Suburban is using water. I probably have to put in 2 gallons every fill up, and have to constantly keep on top of it.

    I have had the radiator replaced with a brand new one. And I never see any water puddles under the engine except a pretty sizable one that always forms under the AC compressor (hot, humid climate here) A couple of mechanics have checked it for engine problems (head gasket) and haven't found anything. (engine running smooth, etc)

    Any ideas what to check?
  • kiawahkiawah Posts: 3,666
    edited October 2010
    It's either leaking out, or leaking in. That's a lot of water to have to fill up. Since you're not seeing it leaking out, I would suspect a head gasket problem, sucking coolant in, converting it to steam, and sending it out the exhaust pipe.

    Guess you could try replacing the water pump and hoses, last ditch chance before tearing into the engine. But also verify that your heater cores are not leaking.
  • Never run the heater (and I'm not sure it even works) as this is a tropical climate. So how do you check to see if the heater cores are leaking?
  • kiawahkiawah Posts: 3,666
    look for damp carpet in the footwell of front passenger, damp carpet in right rear 'way back', or leaking underneath the vehicle behind right rear wheel.
  • I had my intake gasket changed since then my check engine light came on and I checked it the code is p1345 camshaft to crankshaft correlation fault, what's this mean? Idk what happened or what's going on with it
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